The World is a Horror: Is Bob Avakian’s Reenvisioned Communism The Answer?

The Slavoj Žižek—Raymond Lotta Debate

February 10, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


On April 15 in New York City, Slavoj Žižek and Raymond Lotta will engage in a great debate “on the history and prospects of communist revolution.” At its heart, this is a debate between the world as it is, and the radically different world represented and made possible by Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism.

The world is a horror: accelerating environmental emergency...savage neocolonial wars and occupations...the objectification, brutalization, and degradation of women, one-half of humanity...22,000 children dying each and every day of poverty—all of this totally unnecessary. At the same time, growing numbers of people are resisting and questioning the existing social order—from Egypt, to Greece, through Occupy, to the mass protests by women in India. People are raising their heads and searching for solutions and alternatives.

There is an answer and way out. It is communist revolution. The first attempts to create societies free from exploitation and oppression—the Russian revolution of 1917-56 and the Chinese revolution of 1949-76—were historic watersheds for oppressed humanity. Their accomplishments were both unprecedented and monumental. At the same time, there were problems and shortcomings, some quite serious.

Bob Avakian has produced a body of work that in summing up the overwhelmingly positive but also negative lessons of this first wave of revolution, while also drawing from diverse spheres of human experience and endeavor, provides the framework to go further and do better in a new stage of communist revolution.

There is now a basis to fight for and to bring into being a world in which human beings can truly flourish. Humanity needs revolution and the new synthesis of communism. People serious about change need to be grappling with this viable and liberatory alternative.

Enter Slavoj Žižek. In an interview published in Platypus journal in January 2012, he launched an attack on the Revolutionary Communist Party and Bob Avakian: “For all their talk of the ‘new synthesis,’ there is no theoretical substance: It doesn’t do the work. They always have the answers: no questions, only answers....They are precisely the ‘perverts’...the one who knows better than you what you really want.”

In response, Raymond Lotta issued a challenge to debate. Žižek accepted, and the debate is on for April 15 in NYC.

The focus of this debate is the new synthesis and Slavoj Žižek’s attack on it. Is this reenvisioned communism the solution to the horrors of this imperialist world? Can you make revolution in a country like the U.S.? Does the strategy developed by the RCP enable you at a time of revolutionary crisis to bring forward and lead the millions to go up against and defeat the massive repressive force of the ruling class that will come down on people? Is there a framework, concentrated in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal), for a liberatory state power and a viable socialist society that is a transition to a communist world? Was the first wave of socialist revolution basically emancipatory, or a disaster?

Slavoj Žižek claims Bob Avakian’s new synthesis provides “no answers.” Raymond Lotta will show why it does.

Anyone who cares about the future of humanity needs to be at this debate! And people are needed right now to bring their creative energies into building and promoting this event, and drawing many others into its swirl—on campuses, among activists, artists, basic people, and in the social media.

Be Part of Making This Happen.

Planning meetings are taking place in New York City.

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